MIC’s Listen to Norway series continues with Norwegian Baroque Orchestra’s 'Dowland - Lachrimae'.
On ‘Dowland- Lachrimae’ one of Norway’s premier chamber music ensembles, the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra strengthened with Mezzo Soprano Randi Stene plus lute player and project leader Rolf Lislevand focus on 16th century English composer John Dowland. “Seven Teares figured in seaven Passionate Pavans together with six songs of Teares and Weeping” is the line sung in one of Dowland’s best known works, Flow my Tears which is one of the true highlights of this highly aesthetic recording. The Norwegian Baroque Orchestra’s beautifully shaped and crisply articulated performances make an excellent case for following Dowland’s own suggestion and performing the Lachrimae in violins rather than viols, and Randi Stene, whose voice sometimes takes on and appropriately countertenorish quality, projects her words with admirable clarity. By alternating the passionate pavans with suitably lachrymose lute songs, Rolf Lislevand has created a musically and intellectually coherent sequence that maintains the melancholy mood of the pavans and yet contains just enough variety to make thoroughly satisfying listening.